Egypt’s anti-IS operations: 4 soldiers,10 militants killed in Sinai

Egyptian army special forces man a temporary checkpoint outside Sharm el-Sheikh airport where the doomed Russian plane took off before crashing last month, as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visits on November 11, 2015. The Egyptian president pledged a transparent probe into the Russian plane crash and cautioned against hasty conclusions as foreign governments, including Britain, said a bomb probably brought down the plane on October 31 after it took off from the airport of Egypt's Sinai coastal resort. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED

CAIRO: Egypt’s military said on Sunday four soldiers and 10 extremists were killed in a military operation in Sinai against Daesh.

The deaths raise military casualties to at least 16 dead, along with more than 100 militants, since the start of the operation on February 9, according to previous army tolls.

The army launched the campaign after Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, who is standing in elections for his second term this month, gave them a three-month deadline to crush the Islamic State in Sinai.

Al Sissi issued his ultimatum in November after suspected IS gunmen massacred more than 300 worshippers in a Sinai mosque associated with Muslim Sufi mystics.

IS in Sinai has been among the group’s most resilient affiliates, killing hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians in Sinai and elsewhere in Egypt.

It has killed scores of Christians in church bombings and shootings, and bombed a Russian airliner carrying tourists from an Egyptian resort in 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

The military says it has evidence Daesh has sought to move members to Sinai following its defeats in Iraq and Syria.